Google Insights index: world searches for news of Hurricane Irene

Over the last seven days searches related to Hurricane Irene increased over 5,000 percent. Those searches did not just originate from the regions hit by the storm but stemmed from concerned internet users around the world, according to data from Google Insights. 

Hurricane Irene caused extensive damage in the Caribbean and passed across the East Coast of the United States, including New York, dissipating and reaching Canada as a tropical storm.

Data from Google shows that, over the seven days prior to August 29, the term "hurricane irene" experienced a growth rate of over 5,000 percent, termed a "breakout" by Google. The term "hurricane irene path" also experienced breakout levels of growth.  

In addition, two related terms -"hurricane" and "irene" - appeared in the top ten search terms with the biggest growth over the past seven days.

Outside of the United States searches for the terms "hurricane irene" and "hurricane irene path" were popular around the world, with many originating in Jamaica, Canada, Ireland, the UK and New Zealand. "Hurricane" was a popular term in Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico and Canada, and 100 percent of the searches for the simple term "irene" originated in the Dominican Republic.  

Other popular search terms over the past week include Canadian politician Jack Layton, who passed away on August 22; writer Jorge Luis Borge, who was subject to a Google Doodle; and ????, or Shinsuke Shimada, one of Japan's best known TV hosts, who was recently forced to retire after admitting ties to organized crime.

The search terms with the most significant growth worldwide in the last seven days, as  measured by Google Insights and recorded August 29, were:  

01. hurricane irene (Breakout*)
02. hurricane Irene path (Breakout*)
03. jack layton (Breakout*)
04. jorge luis borge (Breakout*)
05.  ???? (+Breakout*)
06. irene (+4,000%)
07. earthquake (+2,550%)
08. hurricane (+2,250%)
09. steve jobs (+1,850%)
10. hp touchpad (+250%)

*Breakout defines a search term that has experienced a change in growth greater than 5,000 percent.  

 

 

 

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